The group of stations, most part of the former “Green Group,” filed a voluntary petition Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Camden. A hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 20 in front of Judge Judith H. Wizmer.
John Caracciolo, president and CEO of the company, could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Northwood Ventures LLC of Syosset, N.Y., owns 75.25 percent of the shares, Northwood Capital partners LLC, also of Syosset, owns 12.69 percent, and individual shareholders in southern New Jersey own less than 2 percent each of the company’s stock, according to court documents.
The company has been experiencing financial difficulties in recent months.
Several on-air personalities were laid off in November, and said they were told the reason was “a budget issue.” Caracciolo declined to comment at the time.
A month earlier, former general manager Brett DeNafo was arrested and charged with stealing nearly $175,000 from the company, police said. His attorney, Steven P. Scheffler, called the charges “110 percent bogus.”
According to court papers filed Monday, Atlantic Broadcasting’s largest creditors include more than half a million dollars owed to the Arbitron ratings company, $116,322 owed to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, $35,000 owed to CBS Sports and $25,165 owed to the Associated Press.
Atlantic Broadcasting will continue to operate the stations, and said it filed for Chapter 11 protection to allow it to sell its business, according to court documents filed Monday. It asked to be allowed to maintain its bank accounts so it can conduct business during the process.
Howard Green, who died in 2002, owned several stations and WMGM-TV 40, and consolidated their headquarters on Route 9 in Linwood under the name South Jersey Radio. Access.1 Communications Corp. bought the group for $22 million in August 2003, and later purchased independent station WJSE-FM 102.7 for $5 million.
Atlantic Broadcasting was formed in May 2008, when a group of southern New Jersey partners purchased the radio stations from Access.1. The television station was not included in the deal, but the Linwood property and its transmission towers were part of the sale.